Sunday, September 15, 2013


SF: This film is nothing short of brilliant. Following the rivalry between formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, I felt this had the right balance of racing and investment in the main characters. Not being a fan of the sport I was worried I'd be a tad bored but within ten mins I was hooked and the pace is consistent throughout. The last ten minutes of the film in Japan were so tense I almost asked DonkeyB to tell me what happens. Well worth a viewing on the big screen. 8.5/10

50Eggs: At last F1 gets a decent movie (I'm excepting Senna on the grounds that it was a documentary). More than decent, in fact it's one of the best films of the year. My knowledge of F1 only stretches back as far as Nigel Mansel so I didn't know the plot at all and consequently was enthralled. The drama is intriguing, the racing exciting and the cast is brilliant. And I don't usually notice music in a film but it really added to the racing scenes in this instance. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: I am/was a big F1 fan, and a monster history buff; so while not having been born when the 1976 season played out, I knew every detail of the story of this film before I even knew it existed. There are probably space nuts out there who were in a similar position with Apollo 13. The film is good, it's not great. It's largely accurate but I found the fake tv anchor grating, but I have to say Simon Taylor's presence was great fun and a nice nod to F1 aficionados. Taylor was in his first year as the BBC's radio commentator in 1976, and apparently he helped with the film production. It was a nice and fairly authentic touch to include him for some exposition along the way. 

There were other minor things that annoyed; Taylor pinched a Murray Walker line, the cut from Hunt joining (or re-establishing membership of) the mile high club to the pistons of his Cosworth engine was crass and they transposed the famous incident of the gear knob coming off from a non championship race in 1974 to the final race at Fuji in 1976- the story and the race are dramatic enough without that. 
I also thought they over played the rivalry, Lauda and Hunt were friends as they came up through the junior formulas. There was lots they left out which was excluded for length (not least Hunt's disqualification at the British GP) , but all these quibbles are additions which were unecessary. 

Nevertheless it is a thrilling story, well shot and Daniel Bruhn truly excellent as Niki Lauda. I think they captured the grimy glamour, spirit, speed, terror and occasional horror of what was probably the greatest season of F1. 8/10

Overall: 8.33/10

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